Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Preparation Begins!!!

So, summer is finally here, and with it LOTS of STUFF!!! I'm really busy preparing musically, scales and pieces and studies for the Galway masterclass! You know, I don't think I'll ever have my scales perfect. They are crazy, really they are. I'm working on them with the tuning CD, backwards, forwards, tops, tails, tonic to tonic, random modes, improvisation in a key, ANYTHING that might make them stick into my head, and yet, invariably, when I come back the next day to work on them, my head feels empty and I just have to wonder if everything I did the day before was all in my imagination. Slowly but surely, however, they are coming, I've got scales up to 4 sharps and 3 flats down and comfortable, and I'm working on 5 sharps and 4 flats. Fortunately, there are some that I learned well before, such as Bb major (thank you, Grade 7 school band!) and D major (I have a random affinity to that scale) and, because of that, their relative minors come easy. At least that. :)

I think I've settled on performing the J.S. Bach Sonata 1035 for Sir James, which means now I'm working on memorization. The annoying bit is that my ears know the piece inside out and backwards, but my fingers don't necessarily, and while my interval recognition is good, it's not THAT good, that I can hear it in my head and just always play it perfectly. *sigh* So many things to work on and learn. It's nice to be playing it again though, I'm enjoying it.

I'm also working crazy on studies, (etudes; tough music that trains specific techniques) brushing up old ones, speeding up new ones. Extra double and triple-tonguing practice, and of course, the scales come in really handy there. This past week I've just felt like I finally know what I'm doing when I get to practicing. Before last Wednesday I was feeling crazy and all over the place, so much that I really didn't accomplish anything at lesson. Jen was very gracious, and let me cry and feel sorry for myself. Haha...not smart, but still okay once in a while. The sunshine is making me feel much more together. :) Yay Summer!

I've also been figuring out what I need to bring and pack, how I'm going to pack it, what I'll wear to travel, and all that great stuff. I practically need another suitcase for all my music related things. I think it will be really fun, because I'll be bringing my flute in my carry-on, and I just can't WAIT to see the look on the security officers' faces when they see this big metal thing in my bag on their little view screen. "Please take this out ma'am, what is it?" "A flute!" And if they ask me to play it (which they have been known to do, evidentially) I'll die laughing. Should be interesting, to say the least. :)

Life is full, even aside from trip planning, as I finally got around to taking my Standard First Aid this past weekend (passed with a 99% yay!!!), and so I'm now certified to operate an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) and all sorts of first-aid-y things. A lot of it I knew from my previous lifeguarding courses, but it's still fantastic to have, especially going away like this. Now if someone falls off the Colosseum and is unconscious and not breathing and has no pulse, I'm up-to-date on what to do. It's crazy how often they change the CPR protocol, I mean, really!

I've been volunteering like crazy at the pool with swim lessons, and I now have done 29 hours since last summer! Pretty awesome! Can't wait to make it 30. I'm still teaching piano and flute right up until we go, as well, so that kind of chops up my weeks. I wish it wasn't Tuesday and Friday. It would be a ton easier if it were all on one day. I think I'll have to follow Rosemary's lead and consolidate my teaching days in the fall (hopefully I'll have more students to consolidate!). Next week I'm hoping to make it to the International Choral Kathaumixw, (Google it) at least for a day or so, and that should be really amazing, and also next Saturday I have an arts fest to go to. Should be...interesting... to say the very least. ;D I'm actually really excited, but I'm sure there will be plenty of colour. :)

In any case, this post has been far too long already. Let me know if you'd prefer shorter posts. I think I'm going to do a mass email now and let everyone who might not know about this blog know, because I think I have some friends and family who will want to peek while I'm gone.

I assure you, these posts will get more interesting, as soon as I leave, I'm sure. I'm just in a sharing details mood today, and really, it's just day-to-day life.

Love and peace to you all.

And just as a word of encouragement, stop and smell the roses today, (or pick the berries, or stare at the sky, or daydream in the forest...) even if it means tramping through the woods to do so. :) Let me know how it went, little moments of beauty always brighten my day.

Sheila Christine


Maria said...

Sheila, I most certainly love long posts, but they give me too much to comment about. For one thing, I'm going to be slightly surprised and amused if they really make you take your flute out.

As for CPR, different organizations have different procedures and they're all constantly changing. However, I have to use the American Red Cross method as a lifeguard which is 30 compressions, two breaths, repeated three times a minute. Children only get 15 compressions with less pressure. Aren't AEDs bizarre? But they are quite useful.

Anyway, it is fun to read about your trip preparations, and I don't really envy your scales and etudes. ;) My teacher told me once I could spend an hour every day on scales if I wanted to because they need so much practice.

Nadine said...

Hi Sheila

I love your posts, it doesn't matter whether they're long or not.
The weather here in Switzerland is amazingly hot, everyday about 27 - 30 °C. I hope it will be as great, when you are arriving in Switzerland.
Preparing a trip is quite exhausting, isn't it. Hopefully you will find some time to relax.

Love you a lot
CU Nadine

Mariah said...

I like all kinds of posts. I think I like it the best when it switches back and forth, so it's always exciting. :D

Everything sounds very busy and exciting in your life right now! Congratulation on your Standard First Aid. Great job! It's stuff like that that I always wish we could do together. :)

I can't wait to hear more about your trip!

Sheila said...

Yes, Maria, protocol here (when I did my last course) was 30:2 for adults, and 15:2 for children, but now it's 30:2 for everyone, just changing the pressure. It's just crazy, and they are actually thinking about taking out the ventilations, apparently they think the compressions circulate enough oxygen. Strange......

No, seriously, when Jen's traveled, they've made her actually take out the flute and play it. :)

Thanks for the comments, girls, keep them coming!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the inspiration to get packing and organized. I know the feeling of being "crazy and all over the place" - that's kinda where I am now, but with packing and preparation, not the flute (my flute playing is, of course, up to par, so I needn't worry there ;-) Ahem... back to reality...

Love the posts, love the pics. Keep 'em coming.

grey squirrel said...

They made me open my violin case...but didn't make me play it.

Sounds like you are insanely busy. I don't know that I could handle it! But you sound happy..in general...at least, when you've got your scales down pat! Hey, did you know that supposedly all around the world those cultures who pass their history down orally...all do it in the key of G?


Sheila said...

Hi Layne! Yes, busy but happy here! Wow, I didn't realize that they all did it in the key of G! Pretty amazing, thanks for sharing!

Sheila said...

Thanks, darling mother!